“When you revisit a place that matters to you for the first time in a long time it is a rich, spiritual experience, but if you then revisit such a place too frequently it loses some of its power. The power lies in the absences.” — Christopher Pratt
Widely considered to be one of Canada’s most prominent and celebrated painters, Christopher Pratt stands with other great artists — Alex Colville, Lawren P. Harris, Jean Paul Lemieux, and Lionel LeMoine Fitzgerald — who influenced him and the way he represents the land. But Pratt’s greatest influence is perhaps the geography of his home province of Newfoundland.
The Places I Go focuses on Pratt’s paintings of the last decade, each revealing his observations of a place changing even as it endures. Beginning in 2005, Pratt started to travel by car to “everywhere I’ve ever been,” recording his travels in his “car books,” in his memory, and, ultimately, in his paintings.
The paintings that resulted from this journey are vintage Pratt. They are also acts of remembering, of recording, of becoming the observer of transformation. Standing on “the littoral,” looking toward the horizon, Pratt casts his eye on the perpetual presence of the ocean. Yet, his images — houses, spillways, bridges, and boats — also pay homage to the right angles of humanity. Buried in snow, at rest in a dock, they celebrate the built form.
This exquisite book, featuring essays by exhibition curator Mireille Eagan, archivist Larry Dohey, and Pratt himself, examines Pratt’s interest in and preoccupation with transformation, the act of remembering, and his abstractions of the ineffable.